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Maheshwar Kanitkar

Maheshwar Kanitkar

Delivery Manager
Sears Holdings
 
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The Journey : Early Days to How I Got Here
In my college days I never thought I would be a Software Tester. When I came out of college, the Internet, and opportunity in its wake, had arrived in India in 1995. I discussed with my amigos, family about various career paths. Then, I decided to work in Internet related technology. 

I have done many roles right from web designer, software developer, web server administration. I was also associated with Services Company for offering Webhosting Company; I was supposed to select the best software for data center automation. I started taking trials of various applications. We finalized with one of the application, found too many issues while doing deployment. I was initially in touch with sales & support team - vendor. As defect count started going up, they connected me to - QA team. 

I found myself to be a better tester than internal QA team of vendor. They were facing lots of issues as well, they requested me to join them and do UAT for all products. They trained me for software testing. I liked the job very well. I started taking more and more responsibility. At one point, I made a decision to move to management ladder in testing business. Eventually, I became business owner for software testing business.
Decisions That Mattered
My mantra was: "Do what you like than following someone else." Whenever I found my current job does not provide enough freedom, exposure to learn new things, experimenting things, I changed my job. Company size does not matter, what matters is job satisfaction. I always tried to find new challenging roles & taking responsibilities at my workplace.
The Turning Points
Yes, there were lot of ups and down in career. I seen dotcom bust, 2008 downtime. What matters is what you are delivering to customers or your own organization has been some of the inflection points in my career. 
Work and Role: Then and Now
My previous company was very small company but they were having very special skills to handle needs of startups. I learned a lot about how to help and start own startups, what are challenges you face and how to overcome those. I was owning end to end client engagements and delivery unit. It was great learning.

My current company is worlds 7th largest IT Services Company. I am responsible for BFSI and retail domain testing. Its more to do with enterprise testing business.
Two Years Down the Line
I would love to work on new methodology, tools, technology which can make big difference.
What I Learnt Along the Way
If you are working in a niche company - testing, you are king. Since companys core business is testing, every cent/paisa is spent on how to improve testing methodology, testing techniques, testing tools. Understanding customer requirements properly and setting expectations of customer and delivery team is very important. Customer education, brand building, employee education helps a lot.
Changing Days: Lessons Learnt
When I started testing, testing was treated as one of job to be done by developer. They used to hire tester to help developer and not proposing any testing ideas. Now small and big companies setup own testing business unit, customer have separate budgets for testing.
Trends to Watch Out For
I am associated with cloud technology from 2002, that time nobody was calling it cloud. I think cloud testing, software testing on smart devices like mobile phones, tablets and smart TVs will have big demand. Smart TVs are in very early stage but they can become very important for software industry. 
My Advice If You are Starting Out
Well, I suggest testers to focus on technology like smart devices and cloud. BFSI & life science will never die its big business. Telecom is continuously undergoing changes so there is lots of opportunity.  
Must Focus Areas For the Future
I think I have already answered above.
Do We Need Certifications?
Certifications make big difference. I would recommend ISTQB, CSTE, CSQA, PMP, vendor certifications on QTP, Silk, loadrunner, MCP, Linux. One might not have enough hands on experience but certification tells "can do". 
Books/ Websites I Recommend
Last But Not Least
Life is too short; do not take too much stress on your health. Take care of your life and family with your job in IT.
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